DPW Demonstrates Asphalt Recycler

(August 28, 2007)

Recycler could increase diversion rates by filling potholes with 100% recycled materials from San Francisco Streets

San Francisco, Ca--Today The San Francisco Department of Public Works' Bureau of Street & Sewer Repair demonstrated a portable asphalt recycling machine that the City is considering for purchase. DPW and 21st Century Equipment will be conducting demonstrations from its temporary location at the Municipal Asphalt Plant throughout the week. DPW, which sees the acquisition of an Asphalt Recycler as a way to support its efforts in cost-efficiency and environmentally-friendly work practices is providing demonstrations for staff and other agencies.

"The use of an asphalt recycler will allow us to improve the quality of the city's roads in a way that is compatible with making San Francisco a healthier and cleaner place to live," said Mayor Gavin Newsom.

DPW's Street and Sewer Repair staff has been researching more efficient ways to fill potholes and patch pave streets while decreasing the amount of construction debris that goes to the landfill. Currently, the crew purchases asphalt produced from raw materials at DPW's Asphalt Plant, including aggregate, sand and oil. A recycling machine will allow DPW to produce asphalt from ground up asphalt from grinding and paving jobs from San Francisco's own streets that can then be used to patch pave and fill potholes throughout the City.

Currently, DPW recycles 15% of asphalt that is taken from our streets during city-led grinding/paving jobs and the department is researching ways that it can double this number to at least 30% in order to reuse more material than ever before.

"It is an opportunity for the Department of Public Works to see our goal of increased efficiency realized while giving us more flexibility to dispatch crews and respond to emergencies," said Dr. Fred V. Abadi, Director of DPW. The new asphalt machine, which yields up to 10 tons of asphalt per hour, is capable of working during all seasons and can supply hot asphalt on demand 365 days a year, allowing crews to work nights and weekends and respond quickly to emergencies, such as sink holes. In addition, the recycler can produce asphalt at a cost of $15 to $20 per ton. Currently, DPW produces asphalt at a market-rate cost of $70-$85 per ton for paving, potholes and patch paving work.

Jared Blumenfeld, Director of the Environment highlighted the benefits that the new machine will have for the environment. "Recycling and reusing waste and materials is a high priority for the City of San Francisco and any tool that will help us attain our goal of 75 percent recycling is a useful tool."

The materials used in the recycler are 100 percent recycled material. The demonstration showed how a grinding and paving job in the Sunset District produced asphalt that will fill potholes and patch pave throughout Chinatown and North Beach this week.

The machine will be located at DPW's Municipal Asphalt Plant at 1801 Jerrold street in San Francisco throughout the week while crews test its appropriateness for San Francisco operations. At a cost of $150,000, the department will ensure the investment will be a sound one for the City.